[Ed: This post was written on Monday evening, translated forward in time!]
Mathematically, a translation takes a set of points and moves them without rotation or distorting their spatial relationships. Today we translated from Koyasan to Kamikatsu, taking five different means of transportation (taxis, funicular, five trains, ferry and a bus )and almost ten hours. We seem to have arrived at the other end with a minimum of distortion.
We took our leave from the temple just before 10 am, waving a formal good-bye to the head priest’s mother who came to see us off. We piled into taxis to the mountaintop station where we rode a funicular to the bottom and dove into Japan’s rail system. We counted off 1 to 15 to make sure we hadn’t lost anyone between changes of trains from Hashimoto to Wakayama to Wakayamashi to Wakayamako. The weather was hot and humid, cold drinks at Hashimoto were welcome, as was the chance to explore the department store food court at Wakayama station for snacks. (The dumplings were great.)
The two hour ferry ride from Honshu (Japan’s largest island) to Shikoku (an island bordering the Japan’s Inland Sea) offered a chance to get a sense of the geography of Japan, and see some gorgeous views of the sunset over the water.
The bus wound its way up the Asahi-gawa River to Kamikatsu, where both dinner and a performance by a local traditional Japanese dance group awaited us. The river is rushing by out the window, the baths are hot, there is a washing machine and we are looking forward to visiting with Nakamura-san tomorrow.